Tag: Five Fists of Science

The Five Fists of Science

by on Oct.25, 2009, under Comics

Five Fists

I originally thought I was reviewing a new graphic novel that just appeared in my neighborhood store. Turns out this is just a second printing of a book that first appeared three years ago. Screw it, I wrote the review, I’m still sticking it up.

If the Nineties belonged to cyberpunk, it’s pretty clear that the Naughties have belonged to steampunk. I’m fine with that as long as it keeps bringing us gems like The Five Fists of Science. (William Gibson, incidentally, invented both cyberpunk, with Neuromancer, and steampunk, with The Difference Engine. Top that bitchez.)

It’s New York, 1899. Nikola Tesla has invented a giant war robot, and his friend Mark Twain decides to use it as the decisive force for world armistice, in the face of the Great War everyone senses coming. His idea is to sell one to every major power, so that non dare attack another, a fin-de-siecle version of Mutual Assured Destruction. Unfortunately none of the world’s governments wants to buy one, so Tesla and Twain stage a series of demonstrations: giant energy beasts (projections also dreamed up by Tesla) attack Manhattan, and Tesla’s robot fights them off. While Twain cries, “Showmanship!”

These attacks draw the attention of JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison, who, with the help of blueprints by Guglielmo Marconi, are building a skyscraper to serve as a giant radio link to Hell. Their Mason-like cult plans to raise the Leviathan, and they fear that the appearance of demons (for so they interpret the energy beasts) means someone else has beaten them to it.

For reasons never adequately explained, Edison captures a man-eating yeti and keeps it. It later eats him and Marconi.

Steven Sanders’ art is for the most part lovely, though occasionally murky. I also had a little trouble keeping Edison, Morgan, and Carnegie straight, even though he gave the one no facial hair, the other a mustache, and the third a beard. I did like Tesla’s Tesla coil ray guns.

No previews, sorry.

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